Re-place-ment

Q When is a replacement not a replacement?

A When it’s not in the same place

A proposal to demolish an outbuilding and construct a garage/office/annexe at a house in the green belt in Derbyshire was turned down after an inspector decided that it could not be considered to be a replacement building in the terms of paragraph 89 of the NPPF (DCS Number 400-014-694).

The inspector acknowledged that the site already benefited from permission for the demolition of the large outbuilding adjacent to the dwelling and its replacement with a new garage with home office and single storey dependent relative accommodation. The appeal scheme proposed an identical building to that already approved but located approximately 80 metres to the rear of the dwelling at the rearmost part of the garden.

The inspector also acknowledged that there was a building of a similar size and scale to the proposed building within the site, and that the appellants intended to demolish this and were prepared to accept a condition to that effect. However, she found that the proposed building would be in a materially different location from the existing outbuilding, some 80 metres from the rear of the dwelling. The building would not therefore be put back in its previous position in the meaning of the word ‘replacing’ as defined in the dictionary, she reasoned. Given the considerable distance between the existing outbuilding to the rear of the dwelling and the proposed building, she was not persuaded that the proposal could justifiably be considered a replacement building for the purposes of paragraph 89 of the Framework.

The inspector also found that the proposal would be more visually prominent than the existing outbuilding and would therefore have a greater visual impact resulting in moderate harm to the openness of the green belt.

We can understand the inspector’s concern about visual harm, but was it right to say that the building would not be a replacement when it would be within the same curtilage? What do readers think?

The following DCP section is relevant: 4.251

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